More than 108 million, or about 30%, of Americans suffer from sleep deprivation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Several collaborative initiatives in the U.S. and U.K. over the past year have put a spotlight on the role of sleep as an important part of overall health and wellness:
- Eve Sleep, an online mattress retailer in the U.K., partnered with the drugstore chain Boots for an exclusive assortment of gifts under the “Well Slept” banner, including a sleep rituals book, three scented candles, a hot water bottle, and pajamas. Eve’s licensing agency, MDR Brand Management, brokered the deal. The products are sold in Boots’ wellness department.
- Casual apparel brand Madewell and home goods brand Parachute paired for a sleep-themed collaboration that included duvet covers, sheets, slippers, and a dog bed. The two brands previously got together for a travel accessories collection in 2018.
- Wearable device maker Garmin teamed with Sleeprate, a sleep tracking and training app, for a sleep assessment and improvement program that integrates Garmin’s activity data and Sleeprate’s analytics. The partnership puts a focus on sleep as a key component of a fitness/workout routine.
- Gravity, the original consumer-targeted weighted blanket brand, introduced in 2017, did its first fashion collaboration this summer, producing a Modernist Collection with designer Ron Chereskin. It also paired with the sleep app Calm, producing collaborative bamboo sheets, pillows, sleep masks, and travel blankets. The two deals are part of Gravity’s strategy to become a full-line home wellness brand. Weighted blankets are said to have a calming, stress-reducing effect on both children and adults.
- Mattress company Casper Sleep paired with Plus Products for a branded gummy sleep aid containing melatonin and CBD. Plus is known for its THC edibles; this is its first hemp-derived CBD product, and the collaboration helps it underline the fact that CBD can serve as a sleep aid. Casper, meanwhile, has been expanding beyond mattresses into bedding, nap pillows, and other sleep items.
- Aardman Animations’ Shaun the Sheep has been the ambassador for The Sleep Charity, a non-profit in the U.K., for two years. This month, the partners introduced an exclusive plush toy as part of Better Sleep Week, the group’s annual awareness campaign. The soft toy, the latest of a number of exclusive products (including books and an advent calendar), is sold on a dedicated site powered by the charitable shopping app Kindred, with 15% of proceeds going to the charity.
Of course bedding, pajamas, and related products have long been key categories for licensing. More recently, however, a growing number of partnerships such as the ones outlined above specifically emphasize the role of sleep as an often-overlooked component of health and wellness. The trend has been on the upswing for some time; in fact, several other self-care trends that have made their mark on the licensing business recently, from meditation apps to ASMR, are positioned as aiding in the achievement of better sleep, as one of the benefits of a broader goal of reducing stress. The current high levels of stress and uncertainty created by the pandemic make the topic of sleep as important and timely as ever.